LONDON--Upon walking into the lilac-carpeted space (this includes the walls) above a shopping mall where Christopher Kane showed his fall 2012 collection, I didn't know what to expect. It seemed like such an upbeat, punchy shade, and his spring collection was full of color and sweetness and light and flowers.
Well, after a few looks went down the runway, I came to the realization that his fall muse was a lot darker and more sinister, and all the flowers had wilted. And it was completely thrilling.
No real show notes were provided apart from the credits, but Tim Blanks at Style.com wrote that Kane was influenced by 80s movie Cruising, which is about a serial killer who kills gay men. (Stay with me here.) Kane imagined what type of woman might go to the sex clubs depicted in the movie. He also used a moiré fabric because it reminded him of the inside of coffins. So this is where Kane's head was for fall 2012. The color went from black pinstriped looks, to a leopard print that was the color of bruises, to an almost shockingly bright lilac, to a deep red. I scrawled so many notes about pieces that jumped out at me: the paper bag seamed tops with leather accents; the pinstriped fur coat; the almost garish lilac dress printed with large black blooms, the dressy end-of-run looks that featured some metallic elements and a sprinkle of flowers.
I've had the pleasure of seeing a Christopher Kane show twice now, and two-dimensional pictures don't really do his clothes justice. There's also been a palpable sense of wonder and excitement in the room both times--you get the sense that something really great is happening. I overheard an editor on the way out say that it was a "McQueen moment." While there was none of the theatricality of a traditional McQueen show, the clothes pretty much say it all.